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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2013 Oct 1;192:15-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.03.032. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Estrogen receptor function and regulation in fish and other vertebrates.

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Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University School of Medicine, LSRC Bldg, Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710, United States. Electronic address:


Estrogens, steroid hormones critically involved in reproductive processes of vertebrates, signal primarily through their intracellular estrogen receptors (ERs). The ERs belong to a superfamily of nuclear receptors that act as ligand inducible transcription factors. Herein, we review what is known about ER structure, subtypes, mechanism(s) of action and auto-regulation by estrogens. Focus is placed on the ER in fish but comparisons are made to mammals and other vertebrates. Finally, we provide context and a proposed model integrating our knowledge on autoregulation of the receptor and its functions in the liver. Future areas of study are suggested, along with cautions when designing experiments, especially for the detection of endocrine disruptors.


Estrogen receptor; Fish; Function; Nuclear Receptor; Regulation; Vitellogenin

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